“If you walk in My statutes, keep My commandments and carry them out … I will walk among you and will be your God, and you will be My people.” (Lev. 26:3, 12). (From: Behar/Bechukotai, Lev. 25:1 – 27:34.)
As this portion of Scripture opens, the Lord gives a series of conditional blessings, “If you walk…then I will…” (Lev. 26:3-13); further, he reveals the antithesis of the blessing, “If you do not listen…then I will do…” (Lev. 26:14-39). It is not the Lord’s desire to rebuke His people, but rather to bring them back in step on His way (Heb. 12:6). In the Torah, the Lord uses the word “walk” (תלכו in Lev. 26) as a metaphor for forward movement, and internal meditation, in life according to His Word.
Walking with the Living God is movement, its change, its new situations, its a renewal of soul and spirit. At times it’s trials in life. Yet, above all its personal. Walking with the Lord, according to His Word, provides the ethical norms for every situation in life: the way of escape or right action.
The use of “walk” itself is telling. He is revealing that what we are about to do is risky, and requires patience, faith and practice. It has been said that walking is controlled falling down. At times we must focus more carefully on our steps as we traverse difficult or unfamiliar terrain. To walk with the Lord is to trust that He has prepared the way before us (Ps. 37:23); and that His statutes, instructions and laws will illuminate the way (Ps. 119:105).
In the fullness of time, the Lord sent his Word to become flesh in the person of Messiah Yeshua/Jesus, the only begotten Son of God. Yeshua said, “Come follow me…” Follow, like walk, is a call to closeness in life. In this case, drawing close to Yeshua. This drawing close is “learning from Him” (Matt. 11:29) as a disciple following his teacher.
Yet, there is a sharp distinction between what we read in Leviticus and what we learn from Messiah Yeshua. The revelation of Leviticus exposes the weakness of the human heart – its sin condition – and our inability to be made righteous by our own effort. The Torah is a document of discipleship, not salvation; and through it, the Lord reveals our utter dependence on His sovereign grace, mercy, love and forgiveness. The coming of Messiah, as the Word made flesh (Jn. 1:14) was an action founded in the grace of God and the love for His people (Jn. 3:16). Messiah came in order to “save His people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21).
The heart of man is so weakened by sin, and depraved, that he is unable to continue in faithfulness, thus he is in need of a savior. This Savior would receive “the chastisement for our peace” so that by “His stripes we are healed” (Isa. 53:5); and as the apostle Peter writes, looking at the past action of Yeshua, “By His wounds you were healed” (1 Pet. 2:24). Therefore, the curse of disobedience no longer falls upon those who are in Messiah (Ro. 8:1), as Yeshua has delivered those trusting on him – healing the spiritual wound of sin that influences the walk of man.
Still, even with our closeness to Him, we must “hear Him” (Matt. 17:5; cf. Deut. 18:15), and in hearing Him we must walk and follow obediently, as Messiah said, “If you love me, keep my commandments” (Jn. 14:15); which we keep now, not out of a motivation to be accepted, but because we have been accepted (Eph. 2:8-10). Messiah not only changes the condition of our heart, by the salvation of our soul, He changes the motivation of our heart to indulge in actions that are self-indulgence to actions of self-sacrifice (Jn. 15:13). This we learn from walking in the uncharted territory that is life with the confidence that He is walking with us because He is our Emmanuel (Matt. 1:23) Who sent the Holy Spirit to us in order that we are not left as orphans (Jn. 14:15-18).
“The Bible reveals the Father’s overall plan for the world and provides general guidelines for life. But how can we know His specific plans for us? Listening to God is essential to walking with God.” Dr. Charles Stanley
Listening to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as we walk, causes us to lift up our eyes, look attentively at Him, and walk in the sureness that He is ever with us.
Be well. Shalom.